Stawell Underground Physics Lab to delve into dark matter

Stawell Underground Physics Lab
The Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory will allow researchers to search for dark matter.

The University of Melbourne welcomes the Federal Government’s $5 million funding to build the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL).

The facility, to be built a kilometre underground in a disused section of the Stawell Gold Mine, will be the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

It will allow researchers from the University of Melbourne and partner organisations to conduct experiments in search of dark matter.

University of Melbourne Professor and SUPL founding director Elisabetta Barberio said the facility will enable researchers to conduct vital research in a controlled environment.

“This facility will host experiments that are critical in the global search for dark matter,” Professor Barberio said.

“Being able to conduct these experiments in the southern hemisphere for the first time will allow us to eliminate seasonal variables and maximise our chances of discovering dark matter.

“I’m very pleased the Federal Government has provided funding for this project.”

University of Melbourne Chancellor Allan Myers said the funding will allow the University to conduct research that will have the potential to deliver internationally significant research outcomes.

“This facility will support and strengthen the role of Australian researchers internationally and continue to cement the University of Melbourne as a leading institution globally,” Mr Myers said.

“The University looks forward to working with our partners, including ANSTO, the Australian National University, University of Adelaide, Swinburne, the University of Western Australia, Princeton University and the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics on this important project.

“We thank Minister Dan Tehan and the Federal Government for supporting innovative research infrastructure in regional Australia, the new owners of the Stawell Gold Mine for providing access to the site, and the Northern Grampians Shire Council for its longstanding support.”

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